Breakout room 1: detail

Tooling to support decentralised communities

NOTE: we asked attendees if they would like their words attributed to them. Those who said yes have been given attribution; everything else is anonymised.

  • Should we build tooling as a startup? The amount of energy we spend inventing tools that are only a very small part of what we’re trying to do. If we want to enable more collaborative communities we need to build swarms of teams, and have more collabs across projects. \

  • We've been working on a set of modular, compatible processes for our ventures to adopt as they please. I’m @_daniel_ospina on Twitter\

  • How do we recognise the complexity of the spaces we’re in? Things change every day. There’s a playbook of modular, compatible patterns, e.g. agile and sociocracy - that we don’t have to take all of. \

  • How do we solve problems together, create collabs between groups and break down silos?\

  • We need to solve the underlying human layer first and then talk about how we use tooling mechanisms. See ODIN network. Project ODIN\

  • These issues are not new - there is experience and knowhow from historic attempts at decentralisation, derived in a more grounded way than these theoretical approaches. We need to integrate that. A "tool" cannot address systemic, embedded exclusion.\

  • People say “In decentralisation there is no hierarchy.” But actually, the history of people's efforts to decentralise - which predates blockchain by several centuries - would suggest this isn't necessarily true. We are all educated to work hierarchically, so hierarchies sneak in.\

  • It’s hard to fund public goods and research. Prototyping & rapid iterations of services/ products might help. \

  • Let’s move beyond the politics of which infrastructure you’re using and look at what ecosystems have in common. Aggregating startups, working in common on marketing, taking advantage of what’s already there.\

  • But perhaps each community still needs its own thematic boundaries? Autonomous- but- working- together: what does that platform look like? Some good collabs start from low-commitment knowledge sharing, avoiding top-down governance, and not forcing people to fit together on everything.\

  • Need high levels of trust. They don’t scale very well. Groups of 15, not groups of thousands - but you can connect these into networks - e.g. Swarm veterans can assume that Swarm has done the vetting. Could be other types of reputational value. Also transferring ways to do things and best practices.\

  • If your team develops a tool - what’s the incentive to open-source that?\

  • We need to bridge the language barriers that hinder collaboration and inclusion. A proposal for a tool that can help with this:\

  • We have an amazing instrument, but do we know how to use it? One approach: create an NFT that represents a value, so people can vote for how much they care about that value. \

  • The big challenge is discovery - there’s lots going on, but a lot of noise. Basics - funding digital pubic goods, and a real-world focus. Science is traditionally very exclusionary, only elites can be part of it - crypto is supposed to support permissionlessness and overturn this. The fiat monetary system is not open - overturning it would make the monetary paradigm redundant, so those in power are never going to do it.\

  • First, we have to accept that we as a community are not inclusive yet. The very fact that we are using English in this meeting, and that only one woman is here, is already proof of it. Could a deaf and non-verbal person join our community? Do we have tools that can aid such a person? How do people participate, and what tools do we use to open our closed system?\

  • Are we approaching excluded people and asking if our approach is working for them? or are we deciding for them? Do we ever ask “what is excluding you, what are the barriers”? (But we need to think that through, and check our capacity to work on issues raised, because continuing to exclude someone after they have told you what they need you to fix is even worse.)\

  • How can we use tech appropriately to support inclusion? - e.g. non-native English speakers using AI tools to write their proposals or do reviews; why are we suspicious of that?\

  • (Attribution: Martin Marinov) My opinion is that the collaboration needs to be coordinated and have to start like a mini star ecosystems in different areas/states and then at the center of these stars will be some people ofc they will be the engine of the communities. And these people need to connect with one another and discuss agendas and progress. I think this is actually happening in some areas of the world and across the Cardano communities.\

  • On public goods, a focus on “meritocracy” won’t reward hidden work or “unfashionable” unvalued work. The idea of “merit” is riddled with all the problems we are trying to address\

  • (Attribution: Martin Marinov) Best tools are the values! It is all about the values. If we can touch the feelings of the people with strong and long lasting values - I think this is the path to go. We have to find the way to promote as much as we can the values behind which we stand.\

  • Is inclusivity a value we want to drive in governance? Is openness? Is collaboration? I guess we need to answer these first. \

  • Do we want to be driven by what the majority thinks? Majorities have believed some awful things historically. We can address the values of the majority to get proposals voted for - but majority-rule and constant voting as a way for a group to determine its own values? not so much.\

  • “Values” is similar to “spaces” - you come to a space that holds your values, but it’s not scalable - and maybe doesn’t need to be. A better way is to teach people how to explore what their values actually are, in small spaces.\

  • (Attribution: Martin Marinov): I generally agree, but I think we need to focus on the people that already formed their values, and then to transition to the people that do not have ones.\

  • We need to start by incentivising the values we want to see.\

  • You won’t agree with everyone: you need a solid group of people you do agree with, like a home, and you reach out from there. People have their own individual values but we need to join the dots. You need to find your tribe, and that’s hard because this conversation is under-developed.\

  • We faced this in the Facilitators’ Collective. Originally, we thought we’d write a “charter of good facilitation” for groups to sign up to - but we realised no, there’s no single “right” way. So we’re making space, and a framework, for groups to explore their unique approaches to facilitation.\

  • As a starting point, Governance Guild should put a values doc together to be discussed. It should document the process of our thinking - why we chose 1 thing over the other and what the trade-offs are. By doing that we create a space so others can have that discussion, and realise we can be vastly different in our values.\

  • For this, I like an app called Ekigai - a writing template for thinking about Ikigai.\

  • Ethereum CC event in Paris - narrative on digital public goods was amazing - funds come from staking and you can identify where they go \

  • At Governance Guild, we set aside money for bounties for this kind of discussion - to incentivise the community to research, reduce the tribalism, reduce maximalism. There are lots of ways to research - we want to make people feel supported to participate however they can.\

  • : nanopublications as a way to support collating learning and research.

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